A large class of diseases arise from ignorance; ignorance of the laws of health, of the delicate and beautiful organization of the system, of the great end and aim of existence, of the harmonious play, which should ever exist between all the organs and faculties of our being, between the mind and the body, the spiritual and the physical.
Amid the wild and restless scenes of life, the ceaseless whirl and mad excitement of business, the feverish panting for fame, wealth or power, as well as in the more quiet paths of rural life, or the slothful walks of luxurious ease, but very few maintain that beautiful harmony between all the organs, that equilibrium throughout the system, which is essential not only to health, but true greatness.
As well might we expect ripe fruit amid the cutting winds, the ice and snow of our northern winter, or the rich luxuriance of southern vegetation in our colder northern clime, as to expect health, a happy temperament, and above all a clear and strong mind, unless an equilibrium be kept up in the system and each organ receive its necessary and only its necessary degree of attention and cultivation.
There is no machine in the world so much abused as the human system, or which, if trifled with to the same extent, would last one half as long. It is not generally until often and repeated violations of the laws of health, that nature unable longer to bear the ill treatment, sinks.
We know there is an inexorable sentence passed on all, from which there is no appeal. That sentence is, death. This dread conqueror tramples on all. His foot must rest on the necks of all, but must more than half the human race yield to his power in the first flush of life, before they have numbered five summers? Must the strokes of death fall thick and fast on the young, the bright, the gay, the talented, the genius, the statesman, the poet, the scholar, the divine, before even time has marked his wrinkles on their brows or scattered his frosts on their heads? Must earth be piled with the graves of the young? Must the human family, filled with disease and racked with pain, go groaning and sighing through the world, with forms bent, and heavy steps and downcast eyes, and haggard looks? No, we have not thus read the designs of Providence. Great laws have been ordained to govern our physical as well as moral being. The human system is a perfect instrument, which should ever be strung to harmony.
Obey the laws of health, for they were all intended for our physical well-being, maintain a proper equilibrium in the system, and a perfect harmony will pervade the whole, and the notes of this glorious instrument grow clearer and sweeter until it is broken not by disease, but time.
The object of the present chapter, is to unfold some of the great laws of health, to show the causes of disease, and how in many cases it may be prevented, reserving for other chapters the treatment of disease after it has once sown its seeds in the system.
In the investigation of this subject we shall consider
1. Climate, changes of temperature, etc.
4. Bathing - its different varieties.
5. Influence of mind on disease.
6. Hereditary taint, predisposition to disease, cetc 7 Mental, moral and physical education.